While other women hashed out old feuds or perpetuated preexisting problems, Renee Graziano made Season Three of Mob Wives all about her–in a good way. By taking the courageous step to seek treatment for a prescription addiction, and allowing the cameras to come along with her, Renee opened a door to the difficulties so many face, proving that addiction is not something that just goes away.
VH1 spoke with Renee before the Mob Wives reunion, to hear more about her experience at a rehab center in Florida and what it’s like to be back in the crazy world of reality television.
VH1: You were very brave to show what you went through on camera. I’m sure that helped a lot of people.
Renee Graziano: I get a lot of people that contact me and they say it did and that to me, I would do it a million times over. I wish could share the rest of what’s happened to me if I knew it could get that kind of results.
Was it scary to put your struggles on TV? Do you have any second thoughts about showing your experience?
No! What I do, I do. It’s just me. I’m not going to stop because there are cameras–ever. First of all, there have been cameras around me since I was a little girl, way before Mob Wives, and newspapers way before Mob Wives, so for me it’s almost normal. Knowing that I’ve kept quiet for 20 years, suffering from abuse and addiction, it was almost like, “You know what, Mom and Dad? I couldn’t tell you but now I’m going to tell a million people,” because this is what happens if you can’t share such a problem. So I’m good with everything I’ve done, I mean I’m embarrassed but I’m human. I think that’s why going to rehab on camera was even better for me because I wanted people to know that I’m not superwoman; I breakdown, and when I breakdown it’s not screaming and crying, I’m breaking on the inside and people don’t see that. You see the outside you don’t feel what’s on the inside. I suffered [and] that was it.
What was the final straw that led you to take that step?
I don’t know. My life was just really out of control. It was really out of control. I was feeling very sick and I was worried and I don’t worry like that type of worry and I was afraid.
Was it difficult coming back to New York after treatment?
What about filming during your recovery process?
That’s probably been the biggest transition for me. Recovery is very hard and to come back and not have as much time as I needed, that’s the one thing I regret: not staying a lot longer.
How was it being back with all the ladies?
Coming back was extremely hard because I came back to the bulls–t that I tried to get away from, and it was still there. Now, the girls definitely did try to help me tremendously, they still weren’t dealing with the after effect of watching the show with me and going through it again and having those words said and those feelings kicked up again. Unfortunately I can’t even go to meeting in Staten Island because it’s “Mob Wives! Mob Wives””It’s very hard, very, very hard.
Do you have more patience now? Is it easier to accept things that have happened on the show now?
No, because now my head is clear, so it’s harder. Now I watch it and I see it. I think it’s harder. I’m a different person completely.
Has your relationship with AJ changed?
Me and AJ are awesome. I’ll tell you it was the most awesome thing I ever saw in my life, he tweeted “I was born to the best that’ll ever be. @ReneeGraziano thanks for making me the best I can be love you best mom out there.”
How has he helped you through this process?
He’s the only reason why I’m in recovery the way I am. He’s greatest kid in the world; I can’t even explain what an amazing child he is.
Catch the Mob Wives Season Three reunion episode this Sunday at 9/8 C!